Sunday, April 10, 2011

What Predator Callers Can Teach Survivalists

You may not be all that interested in eating javelina, feral pigs, coons and coyotes (dogs) now however I'll bet y'all won't be so picky after three days with no food.

True, long term survival skills probably won't be needed in the aftermath of even a large scale rapid onset WTSHTF (When The $#!t Hits The Fan) disaster such as the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami which resulted in over 300,000 refugees even before the nuclear reactor problems became the news story.

In a prolonged onset WTSHTF event such as a 1930's style depression nontraditional supplemental foods (to modern urban Americans) may begin to look a little more appetizing if government assistance proves inadequate.

And, of course, in a TEOTWAWKI (The End Of The World As We Know It) world any food, no matter what the source, will be welcome.

So, how about calling in some pork for supper? Or maybe a few days away from the TV dinners would pique your interest in finding out why so many recipes down south include raccoon?

No, I'm not writing about midnight raids on a farmer's pig sty or chasing howling dogs through the dark. There's a much easier way to feed yourself and your family in time of need.

The other day I watched video of bow hunters calling in whole herds of peccaries (aka javelina) so close that one of the little porkers actually brushed a cameraman's leg as it ran by.

Peccary (not to be confused with wild pigs) are small wild pigs of the genus Tayassu; they are the only pig native to the Americas. Wild pigs will come to a call just like the peccary do.

I've also seen video of hunters calling coons down to their deaths from their arboreal abodes in broad daylight.

Both of the well known traditional hunting methods: "Spot & stalk" and ambush hunting (whether from a ground blind or a tree stand) demand a level of woodcraft most city slickers don't have.

But even I called in a coyote on my first hunt many years ago. The team captain of one of the pistol teams I was on while in the Army was a coyote caller. He took me out calling with him on a bright sunny day. We set up on a hillside below the crest so as not to silhouette ourselves against the skyline.

I'd barely begun calling with a handheld mouth call (back then I used a wooden call, this link is to a modern plastic call with "instructional" DVD) when a coyote came barreling out of the sagebrush towards us. My friend was an excellent shot with either rife or pistol. He fired once with his .223 Ruger Mini-14 rifle as the coyote jumped over a small cactus about one hundred yards from us. The dog nipped at its right front leg once but didn't slow down its hungry charge.

I whispered, "You missed."

He whispered, "He's dead, he just doesn't know it yet."

By this time the coyote was closing in on fifty yards from us so I whispered, "You'd better remind him he's dead before he gets here."

He fired a second time and the dog went down about twenty-five yards in front of us. The coyote had two bullet wounds. The second shot (the one that brought it down) had hit in the center of its chest.

The first shot would have hit there too, except the coyote had jumped up to get over the cactus an instant before the shot was fired so it had been airborne when the bullet arrived. That bullet would have hit slightly right of the center of its chest if the dog hadn't jumped when it did. Like I said, he was a good shot.

If I can call in a coyote on my first attempt so can you. The ability to call calories to you instead of having to expend calories chasing after them can be critical in a survival situation.

Coyotes are Canidae aka prairie wolfs aka dogs are found from South America to all but the northernmost reaches of Canada and from the suburbs of Los Angeles to the East coast. Chances are this protein source lives near you.

Dogs are/were eaten in the Orient, ancient Mexico, ancient Rome and by AmerIndians, Lewis & Clark mountain men and, one presumes, pioneers of the American west. In fact dog meat is eaten in virtually every nation on Earth.

People eat armadillo, javelina, squirrel and raccoons, why not coyote? When researching coyote recipes I found opinion (at hunting web sites) among those who claimed to have actually eaten coyote meat about evenly divided. So it may be an acquired taste (the hungrier you are the more easily acquired).

Lookin' fer some Wile E Coyote recipes? Any dog recipe will do check out Vietnamese & Korean cuisine.

Of course there are always the old standbys:
• Crockpot Coyote
• Coyote Kabobs
• Howlin' Coyote stew (with jalapeños)
• Coyote Stir fry
• Coyote Tamales
• Yodeldog burritos

As with any wild meat you'll want to cook it thoroughly; there's no FDA in the wilderness.

So, what equipment to you need for predator killin' an grillin' hogs, javelina, coons and coyotes? Any centerfire rifle will do and shotguns with buckshot for the close in shots if you want to sell the hide. Of course you'll want to use common sense in your caliber/gauge selection a .375 H&H Magnum is a bit much and the .410 less than optimal.

You can research predator/varmint calling online or, if you have satellite TV/ cable, on the Outdoor channel, Sportsman channel and Pursuit (sometimes labeled the "Hunt") Channel.

Online you can watch past shows and "read all about it!"

Predator Nation
(Fred Eichler is a real professional.)

Predator Quest
(Les Johnson is another real professional.)

Mojo Outdoors
(In one show callers called raccoons out of their holes high up in trees.)

Fast and Furious
(These guys seem to miss a lot.)

Wireless game calls

FoxPro High Performance Game Calls

Extreme Dimension Wildlife Calls
(It even has a Corvus brachyrhynchos call in case you want to eat crow.)

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